“Holy shit, I think I love you,” Bakugou blurts out, staring at Tenya as he’s about to pull on the helm of his costume. Both of their jaws drop at once, and Tenya barely avoids dropping his armor on the floor as Bakugou turns around, stomping his way to the door and leaving the locker room with fury and embarrassment seeming to emanate from him.
Tenya blinks rapidly, having trouble convincing himself he isn’t hallucinating. Bakugou just…? No, no, that can’t be right. Bakugou wouldn’t tell him that. Sure, they’ve been dating for a good while now, but they’ve never come close to addressing the deeper parts of their feelings, and Tenya hasn’t ever entertained the thoughts of saying those words because he didn’t want to scare Bakugou off.
But then Bakugou said it first. Unintentionally, it seems.
Tenya is at a loss. He can’t say it back, partially because it isn’t technically true because he’s never given it thought. Along with that, he’s sure Bakugou would deny that he said anything if Tenya tried to reciprocate too soon. But what if Bakugou had been hit by a quirk that made him say things he didn’t mean? Or what if it was a truth-telling quirk? There are so many possibi—
“Iida-kun? Are you coming?” Midoriya asks, standing a few feet away adjusting his arm braces. Apparently, he hadn’t heard what Bakugou just said.
“Yes, of course!” he replies, shaking himself out of his stupor. He’d seek Bakugou out later. For now, everything should be fine.
“Kacchan seems upset today,” Midoriya muses, pursing his lips. “I wonder what happened…”
Tenya thinks it’s better to keep him uninformed rather than risk Midoriya confronting Bakugou when he’s not ready.
“Nothing happened between you two, right?” Midoriya asks, looking up at Tenya. Of course, he can’t even be spared one time.
“No! Everything is fine between us. We’re happy,” he says, trying to avoid glancing at Bakugou in concern.
“That’s good!” Midoriya grins at him. “Glad to hear it!”
Tenya hopes he’s right.
He’d managed to avoid Iida in the lockers after training, and thankfully made it back to the dorms without running into any of the assholes that would have roped him into conversation and risked Iida seeing him. Now, he flops back on his bed, groaning out loud while rubbing his face with his hands.
The worst part might be that Katsuki knows his words were truthful. The things he says usually are the truth, exaggerated as they may be, so Iida must know he wasn’t bluffing either. Maybe the element of surprise would make it less believable? God, he hopes so. That definitely wasn’t how he wanted to confess.
His head hurts trying to think about this, so Katsuki decides to just ignore it. It’ll probably blow up in his face some time soon, but dealing with explosions is what he’s best at. It’ll be fine.
Unfortunately, there are screens over their windows and no other way out than his door, so he opens it and looks straight at Iida.
“What is it?” Katsuki wants to get this over with as soon as possible.
“If you’re here to tell me you don’t feel the same way, I already know.” Shit. Stop jumping the fuckin’ gun, Katsuki.
“I—” Iida hesitates. “What do you mean, you already know?”
Katsuki sighs. So he’s having this conversation after all. He backs up to the center of his room, sitting down in the middle of the floor, looking up at Iida silently. After a moment, Iida joins him, sitting down in front of him.
“We’ve been together for, like, six months,” Katsuki starts, hesitating on the time even though he knows exactly how long its been by heart. He doesn’t need to look even more head-over-heels than he already knows he is.
“Six months, and we’ve never talked about that mushy crap. You have better things to worry about; both of us do. Being a hero is what matters most to me, but…”
Iida bites his lip. “But…?”
“I guess that mushy crap snuck up on me,” he murmurs. Well, if nothing else, at least Iida is smiling at him. “It’s the only thing I was thinking when I saw you.”
“So, it’s the truth, then? You…” Iida trails off, clearly unable to finish the sentiment Katsuki had bestowed upon him, but it isn’t actually upsetting at all. No matter what he’d said, Katsuki still needs to actually take some time to understand what he feels, and what this means for them.
He feels way too mushy for a seventeen year old.
“Yeah,” Katsuki nods, huffing a short laugh through his nose. He really went ahead and fell in love. Strange, how many things have changed for him since being at UA. “That’s how I feel.”
Iida’s smile is ridiculously large, and it makes those same feelings rise up in Katsuki that had ruined his impulse control this morning. It doesn’t feel so bad, he supposes.
“I… I can’t say that I love you,” Iida starts, words making Katsuki tense, “...yet. Not yet. But now that I’m thinking about it, I just… will you wait for me?”
Katsuki smiles despite himself. “What do you think?” he asks with a roll of his eyes. Iida looks at him with those earnest eyes, and Katsuki is all in.
“However long you need. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as you’re here.”